The importance of professionalism in the supply chain

July 3 2013

In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Teresa McCarthy, director of the Global Supply Chain Management Program at Bryant University, explained why logistical operations are an increasingly critical part of many companies' business models.

"Everyone wants newer innovations faster or their products delivered faster," McCarthy said. "It requires creativity and employees with the skills necessary to accomplish that by understanding the supply chain."

However, the supply of professionals with these skills is apparently being rapidly outpaced by the growing demand for them. A study by the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics asserted that hundreds of thousands of supply chain jobs will go unfilled in the coming years as a result of a talent shortage. The need for trained supply chain managers is driving the proliferation of new graduate and undergraduate programs at the country's business schools.

According to the Wall Street Journal, at least nine universities have opened new programs in supply chain management since 2011 and more institutions are moving forward with their own programs. The University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business is currently preparing to welcome an inaugural class to its new online masters degree program in supply chain management during the fall.

At Rutgers, it has only taken nine years for supply chain management to become the most popular concentration within the school's MBA program. The university introduced an undergraduate program on the subject in 2010.

Despite the expansion of educational opportunities, the gap between supply and demand won't be wiped out overnight. Companies in Ohio that are finding it difficult to assemble an in-house team to oversee their supply chain may want to consider partnering with an external provider of expedited delivery services to ensure that critical operations can run smoothly under the supervision of experienced logistics experts.

Local courier services help business succeed

July 1 2013

When most consumers think about business shipping, they immediately turn toward the big boys of the United States Postal Service, FedEx and UPS, While the reasons for that certainly make sense, these are by no means the only or most effective ways that companies can handle their shipping needs.

In many instances there are local logistics and courier services that can become a better alternative for success. A recent article from the Times Argus profiled a couple of Vermont shipping companies that have found a way to stay competitive in a changing landscape. The businesses only operate in the Vermont area and have gone through numerous changes to keep themselves relevant.

First off, those using courier services have changed as companies like law firms and ad agencies have gone more digital. However, other companies that send food, flowers and medical supplies have started to flood the market. Executives from the companies also mentioned offering different services from the larger competition.

"FedEx and UPS don't really compete with us because our niche is same-day delivery versus FedEx's overnight, next day, two day, three day, five day," Matt Kozlowski, the vice president of one of the companies said. "So our niche and how we stay competitive is by providing this same-day delivery, which they don't."

Vermont is far from the only state that has a has courier services like these. In Northeastern Ohio, Reliable Runners Courier Service is one such company that can help any organization meet their local shipping and logistics needs.

Fluxes in athlete popularity highlight the need for proper supply chain management

July 1 2013

A company's needs can change in the blink of an eye and suddenly the supply chain needs to undergo a massive shift. In no place is this seen more commonly than in the professional sports world. Currently, two major organizations are experiencing a supply and demand shift, but for completely different reasons.

In Los Angeles, Yasiel Puig was called up by the Dodgers to the major leagues and immediately took the game by storm. The right fielder has been breaking records on the field with his play and off the field with merchandise sales. According to the Los Angeles Times, in the first four days since he made his debut, the club has sold more products with his likeness and number than any other other player in the franchise's storied history.

Puig has become a crowd favorite and fans of all ages want to show it with a jersey, shirt or bobblehead. Many of the street venders are cashing in with their own versions of Puig merchandise.

However, these events are not always happy ones, as the New England Patriots will tell you. Last week, star tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested, charged with first-degree murder and immediately released by the team. Many fans were then left with Hernandez jerseys but no desire to wear them. To answer this, the team's pro shop is hosting an exchange event where fans can swap a Hernandez jersey for one of equal or less value,

Of course Ohio fans are well aware of changes in demand like this as the rise and fall of Lebron James in the state shows. These shifts highlight the need for a quality supply chain solution that can be called on at a moments notice to meet the current demands of a business.

10 Ohio companies are awarded small business loans

June 28 2013

Many people consider small business to be the backbone of the American economy and any way they can be helped is a positive step. A recent article from the News-Herald profiled a move by the Lake County Small Business Assistance Program, which recently finalized the loans for 10 Northeast Ohio businesses.

The piece features an interview with Martin Gareau, the public finance director at the Port Authority, which manages the loans. He said that this process has been going on for nearly 31 years and is part of a larger certified development program (SBA 504) which has provided $6 billion in financing to nearly 10,000 U.S. small businesses.

"These 10 businesses invested over $9.6 million with an initial commitment to create or retain 45 jobs," Gareau said. "The loans for these businesses had previously been approved and now their projects have come to fruition with several construction projects completed along with a few business acquisitions finalized."

He added that the employment number is just a starting point and is expected to grow as the economy straightens itself out.

U.S. Representative Dave Joyce was also quoted in the article expressing his delight over the increase in small business support. He said the economy is driven by these types of companies and it is a top priority of his to help Ohio small business owners hire more employees and increase the bottom line.

For these companies to remain successful they need to optimize every process like partnering with a local courier service to ensure all shipping needs are met and the customer experience is improved.

Ohio drastically improving its business landscape

June 28 2013

For any entrepreneur or company owner, being in the right state can make all the difference to the ultimate success of the business. Ohio is starting to become a more desirable destination.

In a recent guest column for the Newark Advocate, Ohio representative Jay Hottinger, spoke about the ways that the state government is helping to improve the business landscape in Ohio.

In the piece he cited a Chief Executive Magazine survey which evaluated the taxation and regulations, workforce quality and quality of life in all 50 states. This was done to determine which of them was the best - and worst - to start a business in. The state of Ohio came in at 22nd. While that number may seem low, it made the biggest positive jump of any state having been in 35th place in 2012. Going even further back, Ohio was ranked 44th in 2010 when it comes to business climate.

Many of the CEOs interviewed for the study mentioned that the state has taken a different approach than the federal government when it comes to the business climate by trying to simplify regulations and reduce taxes.

"While the survey above and the various legislative policies indicate improvement, there is always room for more progress," Hottinger writes. "I am dedicated to continuing this positive momentum of business and job building. With more work and cooperation at the state-level, the future looks bright for business here in Ohio."

Companies in the state seems to have a bright future. Whether it is a courier service or healthcare provider, Ohio is open for business.